What is the best way to leave assets to an adult child who is mentally ill?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is the best way to leave assets to an adult child who is mentally ill?

He cannot manage money, has many debts outstanding. He is married. I
do not want him to have outright money.

Asked on November 12, 2016 under Estate Planning, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A trust: that way you can have a mentally competent trustee control/manage the money for him, subject to rules or guideliness you set up in establishing the trust. You probably should establish an initial trust now (an "inter vivos" trust, or one established while you are alive) with some funding, so that when you pass, there there is an ongoing source of support for him, to tide him over through the probate of the estate (which can take months, or even years). You should also have a will that will have the estate's assets (e.g. your money, your real estate, etc.) go into the trust, to more fully fund it for the future. Setting up a trust properly can be complex, and there are also tax implications to consider: you should consult with an estate-planning attorney about this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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